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May 2014  
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  18th May 2014

Barrelling involves sanding down the shaft along a gentle taper, reducing one or both ends from 5/16" to 9/32". There are various ways of doing this; I was lent a barrelling jig by Jason at the Longbow Shop, who's a top dude.

It comprises a pair of plates mounted on a board, which narrow from 5/16" to 9/32" to one end, and have sandpaper on the inside. The arrow is rotated at speed and slid gently and suggestively back and forth through this to a pre-measured backstop to smooth them down to the taper.

The tough bit is the propulsion. If you just screw the shaft into a drill chuck, it crushes the wood and doesn't hold too well in any case. After several experiments (thank God for spare shafts!) I found a bit of rubber hose from an anaesthetic machine, slit down the side, the best choice as a grommet. It still wasn't perfect as it slipped sometimes (see next page) but I got all 12 barrelled at both ends with the aid of a glass of wine and Rainbow's Temple of the King.

The shafts had been taper-cut while they were still 5/16" (thanks Lee Ankers!) and now a 9/32" pile fits on rather neatly.

Rather spookily, the weights mostly levelled out as a result of this process, more than half the shafts being the exact same weight after barrelling!